Purpose: Hormone receptor–positive (HR+) breast cancer is clinically and biologically heterogeneous, and subgroups with different prognostic and treatment sensitivities need to be identified.
Experimental Design: Research-based PAM50 subtyping and expression of additional genes was performed on 63 patients with HR+/HER2− disease randomly assigned to neoadjuvant multiagent chemotherapy versus endocrine therapy in a phase II trial. The biology associated with treatment response was used to derive a PAM50-based chemoendocrine score (CES). CES's predictive ability was evaluated in 4 independent neoadjuvant data sets (n = 675) and 4 adjuvant data sets (n = 1,505). The association of CES, intrinsic biology, and PAM50 risk of relapse (ROR) was explored across 6,007 tumors.
Results: Most genes associated with endocrine sensitivity were also found associated with chemotherapy resistance. In the chemotherapy test/validation data sets, CES was independently associated with pathologic complete response (pCR), even after adjusting for intrinsic subtype. pCR rates of the CES endocrine–sensitive (CES-E), uncertain (CES-U), and chemotherapy-sensitive (CES-C) groups in both data sets combined were 25%, 11%, and 2%, respectively. In the endocrine test/validation data sets, CES was independently associated with response. Compared with ROR, >90% of ROR-low and ROR-high tumors were identified as CES-E and CES-C, respectively; however, each CES group represented >25% of ROR-intermediate disease. In terms of survival outcome, CES-C was associated with poor relapse-free survival in patients with ROR-intermediate disease treated with either adjuvant endocrine therapy only or no adjuvant systemic therapy, but not in patients treated with (neo)adjuvant chemotherapy.
Conclusions: CES is a genomic signature capable of estimating chemoendocrine sensitivity in HR+ breast cancer beyond intrinsic subtype and risk of relapse. Clin Cancer Res; 1–10. ©2016 AACR.
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Clinical Cancer Research Online (http://clincancerres.aacrjournals.org/).
- Received August 20, 2016.
- Revision received October 22, 2016.
- Accepted November 7, 2016.
- ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.